Steve Hanamura Speaking at Multnomah University June 16th at 6:30pm: Building Inclusive Communities from Diverse Perspectives

By Derrick Peterson

As part of New Wine's ongoing Doctor of Ministry cohort in Cross-Cultural Engagement here at Multnomah University we are so excited to be hosting an array of speakers from diverse backgrounds.  Last week it was a great honor to have Dr. John Perkins with us.  This week, Thursday June 16th, 6:30-8:00pm at Multnomah in the JCA Student Center (Building 8 if you follow this map) we have another amazing speaker coming to partner with us, Steve Hanamura of Hanamura Consulting (who is also a member of New Wine's Advisory Council). He will be presenting on "Building Communities from Diverse Perspectives."  The event is free and open to the public (we simply ask that you register: here to help us know how many refreshments we may need)!

Born blind, Steve brings a unique angle of inter-personal and group engagement to his 25 years of consulting, training, and professional speaking.  He graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Oregon, with a Bachelor's from Linfield College.  Steve is one of forty diversity pioneers to be honored by being featured in the Profiles in Diversity journal, and was an Olympic Torchbearer in 1996.  Though blind, Steve is an avid runner and sports fan.

It may seem odd to ask a man born blind to help us see what we otherwise miss, but few are so capable of helping us here.  The philosopher Martin Heidegger once quipped that we all intuitively believe our immediate environment and life-contexts to be the most obvious and transparent to us.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth: our everyday lives are not "obvious", but the outcome of highly intricate layers of past decision making, concepts, prejudices, and practices done so often as to become an unthought ensemble of habits that frame our worlds.  The more something seems transparently obvious to us, says Heidegger, the more mediated it is!  Steve Hanamura is an expert at peeling away some of these layers, to help us see, live, and feel our worlds in a new light and posture.

Some of the topics and questions he will be addressing are:

  • What is the mission we live and work from, and how do we define success?
  • What are challenges we face in being in community with people who are from cultures different than our own?
  • What does it mean to be inclusive of the community at large?
  • How does being a follower of Jesus influence the way we should behave towards others, no matter how different than us?

We truly hope you can make it out Thursday evening at 6:30pm!

[Photo Credit: David Eastwell]